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The World Is Watching

Year: 1988
Language: English
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 60 min
Director: Peter Raymont
Producer: Peter Raymont, Harold Crooks, Jim Monro
Writer: Peter Raymont, Harold Crooks
Cinematographer: Dan Holmberg, Jonathan Collinson, Martin Duckworth
Editor: John Kramer, Robert Benson
Sound: Gary Oppenheimer
Music: Doug Wilde
Narration: Elizabeth Gray
Cast: Peter Jennings, John Quiñones, Bill Gentile, Randolph Ryan, Jon Snow, Miguel D’Escoto, Óscar Arias, José Duarte, Daniel Ortega
Production Company: Investigative Productions Inc.

This acclaimed and revealing documentary demonstrates how the raw material of political and historical events is moulded, interpreted, altered, edited and contextualized in the name of objectivity. Director Peter Raymont, having obtained unprecedented access to ABC-TV News, follows the American and international press in Nicaragua during the tumultuous political events of 1987. He simultaneously documents the editorial process in the ABC newsroom in New York City, revealing the practical pressures of deadlines and time slots, as well as the political and editorial decisions which shaped and informed the subject matter being presented.

Appearing in the film to voice their opinions on the journalistic process are Peter Jennings and John QuiZones of ABC News, Newsweek photographer Bill Gentile, The Boston Globe’s Randolph Ryan, Édith Carrone of the Paris newspaper Libération and ITN news correspondent Jon Snow.

Extremely well received by critics, The World Is Watching was broadcast internationally and won numerous awards at international film festivals. George Black, foreign editor of The Nation, called it "a brilliant piece of work, documentary-making of the highest order." Geoff Pevere stated in the Toronto Star that the film "not only lays bare the machinations of the news-making process, it blows the doors off the myth of objectivity."

Among the film’s honours were a Genie Award for Short Documentary, a Gold Hugo for best social and political documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival and a Peace Film Award Honourable Mention at the Berlin International Film Festival. Raymont returned to Nicaragua in 2002 for the follow-up film The World Stopped Watching (2004).

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